Research and Research Methodologies
There are two types of Educational Research there is Traditional Research and Action Research.
Traditional Research is a linear process, which is systematic, it applies the scientific method, questions often come from traditional sources, the researcher is removed from the study, and it can end after the problem is solved. Therefore educational research is a "Systematic, discipline inquiry applied to gathering, analyzing, and reporting information that addresses educational problems and questions." ( McMillan, p. 5)
As stated by McMillan Educational Research is made up of six principles:
Ask a question that can be empirically investigated
Connect your question to other research and relevant theories
Make sure the methods used are accurate and appropriate to answer the research question.
Have a clear alignment of your research process makes it a logical, coherent, explicit and evidence-based explanation for your question.
The study must be replicable, and one should be able to make generalizations to other studies and a substantial part of the population.
Disseminate the research result to be review by your peers an encourage scrutiny, critique, and peer review.
On the other hand Action research is a step by step procedure and a systematic approach, which is cyclical, narrow in focus, develops tests and solutions, the researcher is part of the study and can improve their study and reflection is a crucial part of the process. As a result action research is mainly used by practitioners to connect theory to practice and "can be used to bridge the gap between theory and practice" (Mertler, 2016, p. 58).
There are four stages of action research:
Planning: In this stage, one has to identify and limit the topic, Gather information, review related literature and develop a research plan.
Acting: In this stage, one has to collect the data and analyze the data.
Developing: In this stage, one has to develop an action plan.
Reflecting: In this stage, one has to share and communicate the results with the final and critical step of reflecting on the process.
The qualitative data techniques come from a holistic approach and come from an inductive process that starts by "trying to reduce the volume of information that you have collected" (Mertler, 2016, p. 210) by constructing a framework of patterns and themes to represent key findings. The first step is to use a coding scheme to process and group all the data collected. The second step is to use inductive analysis to start creating connections and seeing how everything fits together. Finally, one has to include introspection and reflective process to ensure objectivity and the validity of the data. The types of Qualitative data collection methods consist of narrative data, observation, interviews, and or existing documents & records.
McMillan, J. H. (2016). Fundamentals of educational research (7th ed.). Boston,
Mertler, C. (2016). Action research: Improving schools and empowering educators (5th ed.).Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.